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[koh-hab-it] /koʊˈhæb ɪt/
verb (used without object)
to live together as if married, usually without legal or religious sanction.
to live together in an intimate relationship.
to dwell with another or share the same place, as different species of animals.
Origin of cohabit
1520-30; < Late Latin cohabitāre, equivalent to co- co- + habitāre to have possession, abide (frequentative of habēre to have, own)
Related forms
cohabitant, cohabiter, noun
cohabitation, noun
noncohabitation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cohabitation
  • We're talking about cohabitation: between different sciences and forms of culture, between organisms and machines.
  • cohabitation is continuing to increase in popularity.
  • cohabitation could be an opportunity for them to co-operate on the economy and the war.
  • And all have undergone violent political convulsions over their forced cohabitation for decades, right up to today.
  • Marriage has few well-being benefits over cohabitation.
  • Thus took form the easy cohabitation of egalitarian ideology and savage coercion that was to plague the next two centuries.
  • cohabitation has become part of the pathway toward marriage.
  • Prior work focuses on expectations to marry and has ignored cohabitation.
  • Over this same period, cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing have become increasingly common.
British Dictionary definitions for cohabitation


the state or condition of living together as husband and wife without being married
(of political parties) the state or condition of cooperating for specific purposes without forming a coalition


(intransitive) to live together as husband and wife, esp without being married
Derived Forms
cohabitee, cohabitant, cohabiter, noun
Word Origin
C16: via Late Latin, from Latin co- together + habitāre to live
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cohabitation

mid-15c., "action or state of living together (especially as husband and wife)," from Middle French cohabitation (Old French cohabitacion "cohabitation, sexual intercourse"), from Late Latin cohabitationem (nominative cohabitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of cohabitare "to dwell together," from co- "with, together" (see co-) + habitare "to live, dwell" (see habitat).



euphemism since 1530s to describe a couple living together without benefit of marriage; back-formation from cohabitation. Related: Cohabited; cohabiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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